Article #063 Managing Public Authorities Permits and No Objection Certificates (NOC) in Construction Projects


One of the common processes in any engineering and construction project across the globe is the process of getting permits and no-objection certificates (NOC) from public authorities such as electricity and water, municipality, civil defense, roads, and transportation among others. Some of those permits and NOCs need to be issued during the design development stages, contractor mobilization, construction, and handing over. Some permits and NOCs have validity durations where they need to be renewed to maintain their validity.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, organizations can create document templates that are specific for each type of permit issued by public authorities. For example, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has more than 75 permits and NOCs that apply to the different types of engineering and construction projects that need to be executed in the emirate of Dubai. Similarly, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Civil Defense, Etisalat, and other entities have their permits and NOCs.

Since the requirements and need dates for all of those permits and NOCs are known to the project stakeholders, it is a must to have all those permits and NOCs added as activities to the project schedule. This will ensure that the predecessor and successor activities are identified and taken into account as well as the planned duration for issuing the permit or NOC to avoid any delays to the project. Those activities along with the project schedule activities will be imported into PMWeb to allow linking the relevant permit or NOC activity to the NOC form.

Using PMWeb custom form builder, a document template will be created for each permit. The template will capture the date the record was created, created by who, internal workflow status, and whether this is a new submission or for renewal.

In addition, the header of the template will include general details on the permit or NOC such as NOC No., NOC Phase (Design, Construction or Hand Over), NOC Name (e.g. General Projects – Diversion/Relocation for Electricity Services), NOC Request Date, Permitting Entity (DEWA, RTA, Civil Defense, etc.), NOC Issue and Expiry Date, Cover Letter Ref. No., Relevant RTA NOC, Relevant DEWA NOC, Scope of Work Details, Start and Completion Dates of Work, Project Owner, Consultant and Contractor names, and NOC Schedule Activity. The form could also include the planned and actual permit or NOC fee and the cost account number this fee is charged against. It should be noted much of this information will be used for the NOC letter that will be automatically generated from PMWeb to the permitting entity.

The template will also include a table that will list all items that are needed to issue the permit. This list will vary depending on the permit or NOC to be issued. For each item in the list, the project team member preparing the NOC should confirm that the submission requirement was completed or is not applicable.

One of the common requirements for most permits and NOCs is the submission of drawings which could include contract documents, shop drawings, and as-built drawings. Those drawings including the latest version of each will be captured in the PMWeb Drawings List module. Using the attachment tab of the permit or NOC, the relevant drawings for each submission will be linked to the document template.

To ensure that the NOC submission is complete and correct before its formally submitted to the permitting entity, a workflow will be added to the NOC document template to ensure it is formally reviewed and approved. The workflow steps could differ depending on the NOC document template and are relevant to permitting an entity.

The formal submission letter for the permitting entity will be automatically generated by the PMWeb Word tool. The letter template format will be in line with the sample letter submission that the permitting entity usually requires organizations to use when submitting for the permits or NOCs. For example, DEWA has created samples of the covering letters that organizations need to submit when requesting for one of their NOCs. Below is an example of how one of those letter templates which was created in PMWeb Word can now be automatically generated using the data captured in the NOC form.

The details of all permits and NOCs will be captured in a tabular log report so they can be monitored and reported on. For each permit or NOC, the report will detail the particulars of the NOC, permitting authority, validity, planned and actual issuance dates, planned and actual fees paid, and days due to being renewed among others. The report will highlight those due for renewal in red. The report could also include statistics on the number of permits and NOCs per permitting authority and planned and actual permits and NOCs fees per permitting authority.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and control services to over 100 projects with a total value of over US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, and Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.


Contact us